Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Work: Early Spring, Early Morning Pond

This was painted using a plein air sketch of a pond near my home, early in spring, and early in the morning. I visited the site many times, observing and considering before I took my easel and began painting on a much smaller canvas. Next I brought the sketch to my studio, and began again, making new considerations concerning the image, changing and rethinking the initial conception but yielding to the original inspiration. The painting has been painted on gessoed linen that has been stretched on sturdy stretcher bars. I have a simple mahogany frame that I will bolt the painting into.

On the surface this is a painting of a pond in early morning light, at a point when the leaves are just beginning to form. On a deeper level, I was seeing the scene as representation of the four elements: the air (sky), fire (sun), water (pond), and earth (shore), using the trees to link it together. These elements are basic to our life, they are both life sustaining and dangerous at the same time. In equilibrium they provide the nourishment to the planet, and out of balance, they threaten our existence.

I felt the inherent balance of this landscape, providing a sense of serenity and calm in our harried world. In painting the trees, I could perceive strength of the trees, from roots to treetops; they live rooted in the earth, provide oxygen for our air, protect us from the sun, and bring water from the lowest areas to the tips of the leaves, uniting earth with the heavens.